By Alison Sullivan
Violence, scandal, war, and a secret love affair set the scene for Andrew Noone’s upcoming nonfiction book, Bathsheba Spooner: A Revolutionary Murder Conspiracy.
Bathsheba, daughter of a scorned Tory, plotted to kill her husband, Patriot and Brookfield, Mass. resident Joshua Spooner at the sawmill in Princeton, Mass. her father had sold to him. Ultimately, she committed this heinous act in Brookfield in March, 1778 with the help of British prisoners of war and another scandalous accomplice, according to Noone. Bathsheba and her partners in crime went on to toss her husband’s body into a well, which can be found with a marked grave in Brookfield.
While Bathsheba and the men implicated in this greusome murder were executed for their crimes the following July in Worcester, Mass., their story lives on through Noone’s writing. Seamlessly weaving the threads of scandal and violence through the backdrop of post-Revolutionary-War Massachusetts, Noone’s writing allows readers to time travel back to the chilling events of 1778. With plot twists so shocking, this meticulously researched chronicle of real life feels more like a work of historical fiction.
“The saga has so many sensational elements about it that I never had a dull moment in my research or writing,” the author said.
Noone, a Worcester native and a member of the Princeton Arts Society, began writing this book over 20 years ago, finishing his work in 2005. The process of unearthing so much information about a crime more than two centuries old took years, and involved hundreds of notes and documents.
Included in Noone’s findings are never-before-seen letters and journals written in the days following the murder.
The most difficult part of the process, he said, was “piecing together the chronology of events from the day of the murder, combining the men’s confession, trial notes, and journal entries, information which occasionally conflicted.”
Noone was originally inspired to write this book when he happened to buy a home right by where Bathsheba Spooner is buried. The first-time author struggled to find a publisher, and ultimately decided to self-publish his labor of love.
Andrew Noone is married with two adult children, and teaches music for Worcester Public Schools. His first book, Bathsheba Spooner: A Revolutionary Murder Conspiracy is available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook and paperback.